CENTERVILLE -- A historic influx of park impact fees means the city can move forward with initial steps to expand a city park.
In August, the city experienced this influx of park impact fees from building permits for residential units.
A total of $204,000 was received from building permits for 158 apartments and 12 other residential units, according to a staff report.
With one additional permit being issued in September, the improvement fund had a balance of $88,097.
This money turned the balance from negative to positive, making it possible to move forward with plans for Community Park at 1350 N. 400 West.
The city bought 6 acres on the south side of Community Park from the Tingey family five years ago with plans to expand the park, according to the staff report.
Because of this purchase, staff reported that the capital improvement fund had a substantial negative balance at the end of fiscal year 2011.
Now, with the balance of more than $88,000, staff recommended using some of that money.
At a recent meeting, the city council authorized up to $15,000 for preliminary site work on the 6 acres planned for park expansion. That includes removing vegetation along the perimeter fences, regrading the mountain of soil on the east end and finalizing the wetlands redelineation process that began a few years ago.
Staff reported that these efforts should improve the city's relationship with neighbors in Chase Lane Village, as well as set the stage for proceeding with planning and designing the park expansion.
Chase Lane Village home owners have been asking the city to improve the appearance of this property for the past several years. There has been particular concern with the wild vegetation growing along the fence and the mountain of stockpiled soil.
The city is expected to use up to $5,000 to pay temporary employees to remove vegetation, while between $4,000 and $5,000 is planned to hire a bulldozer and operator to regrade the east end of the property.
The remaining $5,000 is planned for the wetland delineation process.
Several years ago, the city hired a consultant to conduct a wetlands study, which ended with the proposal to reduce the wetlands there. No official approval has been obtained for the wetlands redelineation, though it was submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers.
Staff say there may be a cost to renew the city's request and provide any additional information required by the corps.
With the council's approval, efforts can move forward.